Let's be real. Putting something so permanent on my body was absolutely...the best decision of my life. They’re my favorite.
I'm often asked by people that see my tattoos, “But why would you get that on your skin?” Or, “what are you going to school for?” Or, “you have so many.” Or, “what do they mean?” Or, “you really think you will want that on your skin forever?” Or even, “laser removal hurts a lot I heard…”

You see, these people look at my tattoos and assume things about me: I will have a hard time finding a job, that I must be too ignorant to know what the word permanent means, and that I am a young person making choices because it’s “cool”.

Every one of my tattoos means something to me, but even if they did not mean anything to me, it should not be other’s concern. Frankly, that is because it is on my body, not yours. My tattoos are a piece of art.

1. They help tell my testimony.

When I got my first tattoo almost 3 years ago, I would have never thought I would have as many as I do now, but I also never knew what life was going to throw at me. My tattoos show my story in ways that words cannot. My tattoos show my hurt and pain, but mostly they show my growth and strength. They give me constant reminders of how to fight every day and enjoy life thoroughly.

2. They are conversation starters.

Anywhere I go: church, elevators, grocery stores, restaurants, class, the mall, etc., someone is bound to ask about or look at my tattoos. I thoroughly enjoy all of the attention that I get because of them. I can ask about other’s tattoos or they ask about mine. I get asked what they mean and I am able to explain little parts about what they mean to me, which allows others to talk about their lives as well. I’ve made a lot of friends because of my tattoos.

3.Children LOVE my tattoos.

Mine are mostly in black and white, so they love to color them. They also like to trace the lines with their fingers as if they are drawing them. Children have a lot of questions in general, but when they see someone with tattoos when they are not used to it, they have even more. This allows us to teach children about acceptance of everyone no matter what they have on the outside i.e. scars, tattoos, colored hair, skin tone, piercings, and so on.

4. It is a new time, where things such as tattoos and piercings are becoming more acceptable.

I know a lot of teachers, principals, doctors, and other professionals that have tattoos, and it is not looked down upon. People are beginning to understand that it is a way that people express themselves. As long as they are not offensive, I do not think they should be a barrier for career options, but I do realize that is seen as unprofessional at times when you do have tattoos. This is why my tattoos are in places that will never be shown through my professional attire. It ensures that my career will not be affected by the tattoos on my skin.

5. This is my body. I’m tired of being told what I can and cannot do with my body.

If I want to decorate my body in tattoos, then I should be able to without judgment. We should all start to love people for what they bring to the table and stop judging them for the ways in which they are different than us.

6. Even if I decide that whatever I got one day was not the right choice, it was a time of my life that I can look back on and be thankful for.

Each tattoo of mine is significant to me and my past. No matter what, they remind me of where I have come from and how much I have grown, so they will always be important and worth getting.

Support local business and go get some tattoos. Put art on your body and show the world that it’s your body, so you can do what you want with it. Always try to be careful about the placement of the tattoos if you are young because it can impact your future, but ultimately it is entirely up to you where and what you want to put on your body. Be smart and be sure that you get what you love and something you will want forever. Love your body and love your art. Tell your story and show it off to the world in whatever ways you know best, I know I will.